Houston, TX – Nov. 5, 2020 – The 2021 Ram 1500 is the new reigning Truck of Texas. The Ram 1500 was crowned the 2021 Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association in a live virtual ceremony on November 5, 2020 in conjunction with the Houston Auto Show. The Texas Truck Rodeo digital awards presentation follows the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo held in October.
"The SUV and truck market in Texas is strong, and narrow margins between the vehicles confirmed just how competitive this market is this year," said TAWA President Kristin Shaw. “TAWA was the first journalist group to drive Ram's new 1500 TRX and its impressive 702-hp 6.2L HEMI along with undeniable capability on and off road convinced our journalists to rank the Ram 1500 number one in the Truck of Texas category."
Twenty-seven TAWA members traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 5-6, 2020, to evaluate 39 trucks and SUVs on a new off-roading course designed for this year's event. Drivers also had the opportunity to drive the vehicles on-road as well. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.
The 2021 Dodge Durango took home the SUV of Texas crown. Other awardees include the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE as Luxury SUV of Texas and the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition as Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road took home the CUV of Texas title for a second consecutive year.
"This year, we hosted 13 different brands at the Texas Truck Rodeo and welcomed Land Rover and Rolls-Royce back to the event. Both the Defender and the Cullinan were popular at the event and the former took home the Luxury SUV of Texas trophy," said Shaw. "Toyota's 2021 RAV4 TRD Off-Road retained its title of Compact SUV of Texas, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon maintained its edge as top Off-Road SUV, and Hyundai's elegant Palisade Calligraphy earned top honors as Mid-Size SUV of Texas."
TAWA made program changes this year to address the pandemic. Safety protocols included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time.
“This year has brought a lot of challenges to the automotive industry, and we are grateful for the partnership of our journalist and OEM members to provide an opportunity to have access to vehicles, network, and create content that is vital to our livelihoods and shared passion," said Shaw. "Over the course of two days, journalists had an opportunity to drive more than three dozen vehicles and evaluate them thoroughly."
TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support. TAWA also wishes to thank all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year's event possible. Thank you to the Houston Auto Show, Katzkin, Prestige Auto, JBL by Harman and the Austin Auto Show.
Texas Truck Rodeo Winners
- Truck of Texas: 2021 Ram 1500
- SUV of Texas: 2021 Dodge Durango
- Luxury SUV: Land Rover Defender 110SE
- Full-Size SUV: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
- Mid-Size SUV: 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy
- Compact SUV: 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
- Off-Road SUV: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
- Full-Size Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
- Mid-Size Pickup: 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
- Off-Road Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
- Luxury Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition
- Heavy Duty Pickup: 2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition
- Best Powertrain: FCA 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V8
- Best Infotainment: FCA UConnect
- Best Safety or Driver Assist: Nissan ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link
- Best Towing Technology: Ram Heavy Duty 360-degree Surround View Camera
Texas Truck Rodeo Images
All event photography provided by Kevin McCauley. Additional event images can be found here. All images are for editorial use only and should be credited to Kevin McCauley/ Capturing the Machine. For commercial use, please contact Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com.
About the Off-Road Course
The 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo took place at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas, for the second consecutive year. Sue Mead, an accomplished off-roading journalist and member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, was the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo course director, overseeing the construction and design executed by Offcamber Design.
The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, as well as Dripping Springs and for the past two years at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.
In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic with plans to return in the spring of 2021. For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.
Media Contact: Amy Plemons, [email protected]